Monday, August 31, 2009

A Brief Thought on Health Care Reform

Ephesians 4:28: "Let the [politician] no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need."

Friday, August 28, 2009

This Week in Calvinism - August 28, 2009

  • Carl Gobelman reviews The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel.

  • Doug Wilson has an excellent post on Brian McLaren's decision to join Muslims in observing Ramadan.

  • Daniel Townsend offers a thoughtful critique (part 1, part 2) of open theism.

  • In discussing the fact that we can sin without actually committing the act itself, Peter Pike heaps another coal on the Arminian fire.

  • Arminians often equate Calvinism with determinism, saying that it makes God the author of sin. Dominic Tennant argues that Arminians are just as "deterministic" as they accuse Calvinists of being.

  • Halden Doerge, a foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Calvinist blogger, attacks the "false god" (more like straw man) of John Piper.

  • Speaking of John Piper, the Desiring God Conference is coming up September 25–27. This year's theme: With Calvin in the Theater of God.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This Week in Calvinism - August 21, 2009

  • Dr. James Galyon has been stirring up hornets' nests over the issue of regeneration.

  • The Seeking Disciple asks, "Was Calvin more biblical than Calvinists?"

  • John Heuglin, speaking as an Arminian-leaning Pentecostal, "cannot come to the conclusion that we should not call [Calvinists] our brothers and sisters in Christ or deem them as apostates or false teachers." That's certainly more gracious than some.

  • John Calvin: Love him or hate him, you can't ignore him.

  • Steve Hays wonders whether or not Arminius was as complicit in the execution of Servetus as Calvin is accused of being.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Christianity vs. Atheism: Some Brief Observations

Christianity is defined by a belief in something -- particularly, a belief in the God of the Bible. Atheism is defined by a non-belief in something -- particularly, a non-belief in the God of the Bible.

Christians choose to be identified by that which they believe to be true. Atheists choose to be identified by that which they believe to be false.

The practice of Christian apologetics is based on defending a belief. The practice of atheist apologetics is based on attacking a belief.

Christianity teaches absolute truth based on the unchanging word of God. Atheism teaches relative truth based on the changing scientific consensus.

Christians look to God's word as their objective moral standard. Atheists have no objective moral standard, so whenever they discuss morality (which cannot be accounted for in their naturalistic worldview) they must steal from Christians.

Christianity offers purpose and meaning in this world and hope beyond. Atheism offers none of the above, yet atheists continue to proselytize.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Week in Calvinism - August 14, 2009

  • Meet Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833), America's first black preacher and a Calvinist.

  • Dr. Dave Noffsinger is "an enemy of the doctrinal teachings of John Calvin or any that line up with his heresy." He claims Calvinism destroys the very person and purpose of God because Christ "came into the world to save sinners! All sinners!" So, since not all sinners are saved, does that mean God failed? Calvinists happen to believe that Christ actually saved everyone given to him by the Father (John 10:29).

  • Tullian Tchividjian is correct when he notes that every church is dying.

  • Was Spurgeon KJVO?

Friday, August 07, 2009

This Week in Calvinism - August 7, 2009

  • Those pesky Calvinists.

  • Arminian Peter Lumpkins takes on R.C. Sproul.

  • Let me get this straight: Election is based on God's foreknowledge of who will respond to the gospel, but in order to respond to the gospel those people must first be given the grace necessary to do so? Then on what basis does God choose who receives this grace? If Arminians argue that everyone receives the same amount of grace, then salvation is ultimately up to man since it hinges on his decision. If, on the other hand, only certain individuals receive this grace (or receive greater amounts of it), then Arminians are right back to square one on the election issue.

  • Why read Calvin?

  • As far as Catholic M. Barnes is concerned, there is no such thing as Calvinism. He writes, "Calvinism does not exist, at least not any more than the Ku Klux Klan does. Oh sure, there are still several groups that run around in rural communities in the South, calling themselves everything from 'The Traditional Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan' to the 'International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan'. But everyone knows what Nathan Bedford Forrest started over a century ago after the War Between the States has long since disbanded, only to be revitalized by kooks, losers, and provocateurs trying to keep the torch aflame every other decade or so." Talk about your papal bull. He goes on to excoriate Calvinists for their lack of authority and unity. Oh, if only we could learn to be as submissive and unified as Catholics...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

What Are the Desires of Your Heart?

Lately I've been reflecting on Psalm 37:4, which says, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Contrary to what the Word-Faith false teachers may tell me, this is not a promise that God will grant me health, wealth, and whatever else I want in life.

I also know that this verse is not a cryptic statement that in some twisted way means that God will not grant me the desires of my heart. He will. But I must first ask myself what it is I desire and why. I may think that promotion, new car, and bigger house may help my Christian walk, but perhaps they will only hinder it. Maybe I am allowing the material trappings of this world to divert my attention from the Source of all things (which is more likely the case).

What, then, does the psalmist mean? If I truly delight myself in the Lord, then my desires will coincide with God's, and he will give me the desires of my heart according to his good and perfect will. In the end the focus will be on God, not on me.
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